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The concept of ‘seeing sound’ might seem preposterous, but when you consider that sound is just compressed air travelling in waves, the idea becomes a bit more logical. The real trick is capturing air flow in a way that makes it perceptible to the human eye. Through some clever tricks, scientists are able to do just that using a technique called Schlieren flow visualisation, which is used to study everything from heat and sound to aerodynamics and the spread of disease.
Producer: Adam Cole
Video by NPR’s Skunk Bear
Earth science and climate
A biologist on the sorrows of documenting the Great Salt Lake’s collapse
Design and fashion
Household items are reborn in a ‘visual symphony of everyday objects’
As a pianist strikes a chord, visualisations of his notes appear in real time
Thinkers and theories
Jeremy Bentham was consumed by creating a perfect prison. Here’s the result
Why aren’t our everyday lives as ‘spooky’ as the quantum world?
Burning ice, metal clouds, gemstone rain – tour the strangest known exoplanets
Logic and probability
Chew over the prisoner’s dilemma and see if you can find the rational path out
The radically impractical 18th-century architect whose ideas on beauty endure
The idea that life on Earth originated elsewhere is not as far out as it seems